Monday, 12 September 2016

What's not to like?

Do you Like your office?

Do you like your office? When I say ‘like’ I don’t mean appreciate or ‘enjoy’, I mean do you Like it with a big, blue Facebook thumb? Such questions have got a bad rap in recent years. The ‘Like’ is seen as the ultimate superficial gesture, the epitome of ‘slacktivism’ and a meaningless affirmative in place of actual thought or expression. But, in the right hands, a Like could make an awful lot of difference, and could even change the world.

A Like is really just a data point, and it doesn’t mean an awful lot when you’re talking about a friend’s holiday photos, but applied to buildings ratings can make a lot of difference both in the short and long term. The world’s biggest companies boast of their Likes online and jostle for your attention because it shows their product is good and authentic.

This model has a lot of potential with buildings: We’ve been used to measuring the energy efficiency of buildings for years, but the problem is engagement. Landlords are often reluctant to promote their energy ratings because they take into account the energy habits of their tenants, over which they have little control. As a result, the energy rating isn’t something landlords shout about, and thus they have little marketable value. In Australia, however, it works differently.

The worst performing Australian offices
perform 4x better than Britain's worst
The National Australian Building Environmental Rating Scheme (NABERS), by contrast, uses in-use energy data to distinguish between the areas controlled by the landlord and the areas controlled by the tenant, as well as the performance of the building’s fabric, to create a rating that landlords are happy to engage with. As a result, building owners are only too happy to brag about the stars their building has achieved under this scheme, to the point where the NABERS rating is common vocabulary in the marketplace, and commercial tenants often insist on certain ratings when they inquire after property.

This is effectively a market-driven approach to energy that encourages good practice by linking it to very tangible benefits, rather than through threat of sanction. The fastest way to a client’s heart is through their wallet, after all, and this represents a first-class way to recognise and reward real, measured performance. But there’s a darker side to this situation. What is, at the moment, a discussion being had largely around the cost and supply of energy and how it’s generated could in the near future become a much more serious discussion about basic needs.

How we tackle energy use now could be a dry run for how we talk about national or global water shortages in the future, so it could pay to make sure our model works now before the consequences of failure become even more severe. This is where Likes come in again. In the same way that NABERS has been able to get landlords actively engaged in marketing a high energy rating as a must-have, so engineers must work on ways to get occupants to think this way too, and with new technology this is becoming more and more realistic.

Technology can be used to engage building occupants in sustainability

‘Big data’ projects like BIM are revolutionising building services, and we are finding new ways of using technology to make buildings more efficient, more responsive and more pleasant to use every day. But, as we learned at our last Conference, a building that truly performs is only as good as its occupants allow it to be. Even the most artfully designed system is a failure if occupants don’t like it and don’t use it properly, or reduce its effectiveness by finding ways to avoid using it at all. Air conditioning left on all day, timed light switches taped over to keep them on, motion sensors turned off. All of these reduce intended performance.

By listening to occupants and giving them an incentive to feed back by using their responses to improve buildings they use, we can instead design systems that occupants actually like. This can be as simple as a questionnaire, or even happy/sad face buttons by the service you’re testing for occupants to press. Whatever works. By showing users that their building gets better as they engage, the more likely they are to advocate for more sustainable approaches and insist that these are the
norm.

Engineers in the future could identify needs before the occupants, using data
All these options are possible now, but what about the future? As we collect more and more information from buildings and get better at actually using it usefully, it opens up many possibilities. One of the more exciting is predictive technology, which most people will recognise in Google’s uncanny ability to show you adverts for things you want. The more data we get from occupants, the more sophisticated and accurate these algorithms will become. Engineers of the future could run programmes to determine exactly how to design every conceivable feature of a building to match the anticipated occupants, better than they could ever describe it themselves.

This data would cause a sea-change in how buildings are specified, designed, built and operated, in order to best fit their purpose and eliminate as much waste as is possible. To be comfortable and well designed, yet also as efficient as possible. To minimise input costs as well as maximise output benefits. But before any of this can happen, we need to think like NABERS and create ways to incentivise building owners and users to maximise their own building performance. Only then can we create a long-term and sustainable system that puts performance first. Not bad for a humble Like!

Monday, 8 August 2016

The long haul

We have had a little time to reflect in the month since the Brexit vote but regardless of the result, we still have a lot of work to do to meet the UK’s ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions. The referendum outcome had barely even sunk in when, on 30th June, the government committed to the emissions reductions recommended by the Committee on Climate Change to reduce the UK’s carbon output by 57% relative to 1990 levels by 2030. In the light of this, it is even more important than ever that CIBSE and its members work collaboratively as we address the consequences of the vote to leave. It is reassuring to see that the engineering sector reacted swiftly to the vote and the Royal Academy of Engineering has already established a group to look at the potential consequences for the sector, especially in the UK.

Prior success has been led by reducing
emissions by generation  ©Paul Glazzard
My colleague at CIBSE Hywel Davies has written a detailed and informative summary of exactly where we currently sit from a legislative perspective after the vote which makes for sobering reading. While the future isn’t clear and largely hinges on the negotiations of the next few years, the numbers are clear: The UK needs to stick to all of its current climate targets, and set more ambitious ones to meet, if it’s going to hit that 57% goal.

Having said that, the ‘bonfire of the subsidies’ widely feared ahead of the vote doesn’t seem to have taken place yet (although there have been reductions in the Renewable Heat Incentive, announced before the vote). While the many rules and regulations that hold up these targets will take a lot of artful work to unpick, leaving the EU won’t cause it all to collapse around our heads. Just days after the vote, on June 30th, the Government committed to the 57% target and at the same time produced a report on its current progress that detailed what was being done right and what needs to be improved.

The main hero behind the current 38% reduction in emissions since 1990 is electricity generation, which has seen cleaner forms of energy and efforts to de-carbonise fossil fuels pay dividends, but little progress has been made in other areas such as heat provision and energy efficiency. This is where our industry needs to step in. There are potential bumps in the road ahead for our members and their businesses: a cautious foreign property investment sector, industrial relations might yet be spooked by trade negotiations, and big property funds may take a protectionist stance. However, we cannot let these worries affect our commitment to driving sustainability.

It’s tempting in uncertain times like these to hold back on collaboration, wait to see what the market does and keep a suspicious eye on our competitors – but this is actually the time when we need to work together the most. We need to know what the industry is worried about, where it sees opportunities and what it wants a post-Brexit British sustainability sector to look like. If we can get these views across to the politicians in charge of setting the agenda, we have the chance to set targets and policies in this country that are even more ambitious than before. And it is clear that as we seek to make our way in the wider world beyond the EU, our skills and knowledge of sustainability may yet provide new trading opportunities for CIBSE engineers.

CIBSE engineers have the skills and knowledge to take advantage of new markets

If we can get our heads together, survey the industry and decide what we want to change and what we want to stay the same, we can continue to drive forwards. Whilst the EU has in the past played a key role in energy management in the built environment, setting targets and legislating to improve energy efficiency in buildings and products, there is no reason why we have to see Brexit as a killer blow for the UK’s hopes of reaching its climate targets. That role is now down to businesses and organisations like our Institution.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Doing the right thing

Last month, it was almost exactly a year since The Edge published their ‘Collaboration for Change’ report; something that CIBSE has been heavily involved in under my predecessor Nick Mead, Vice-President Paddy Conaghan and now myself. The report, written by Paul Morrell, was an insightful look at the areas of Ethics, Research, Education, the Performance Gap, Industry reform and Climate Change – and how collaboration between professional bodies can advance the whole industry in these areas.

For me, the report was particularly eye-opening in the way it discussed the effect that the industry could have on Government policy and the wider community if only we can maximise the potential of working together. He should know: He’s the former Government Chief Construction Advisor, and what he had to say in the report was a big influence on my own theme for my Presidency – raising the voice of Engineering in society.

The ‘performance gap’ side of the report was thrown into focus last month by some interesting work by the Better Buildings Partnership (BBP), but it also raised no small amount of ethical questions too. They are launching an 18 month pilot along with Verco, BSRIA, Arup and UBT mirroring the Australian NABERS Commitment Agreement that was discussed at our Technical Symposium in April, and commits those involved in delivering a building to minimum levels of in-use performance.

Mirvac Group won the Facilities Management Award at the 2016
Building Performance Awards for their 6 Star NABERS performance
The BBP have said that it’s about designing for performance rather than designing for compliance which, in my opinion, hits the nail on the head. We shouldn’t just be doing this to tick the requisite boxes and avoid getting into trouble, we should be doing it out of a commitment to make buildings perform better environmentally and for their occupants.

To me, this is where the ethics comes in. If we are going to achieve the goal I set out earlier this year, and take our place as engineers at the top table on sustainability issues, we need to be as sustainable as we can because it’s the right thing to do, not just because we have to. Getting involved in a scheme where we can promise a certain standard – and then go out and deliver it – would show that we have both the commitment and the technical skill to make a difference in the world. Something not many other professions can claim.

From a similar standpoint, another event I attended in May gave similar pause on the subject of women engineers and their place in the industry. Very kindly hosted by Lord O’Neill, the CIBSE patrons briefing and dinner at the House of Lords was a great success yet again. Our keynote speaker, former ‘Tomorrow’s World’ presenter Kate Bellingham gave a rousing talk on the importance of STEM education in raising the next generation of engineers – and also focussed on the appallingly low percentage of women in the industry – quoted as 6% of chartered Engineers.

                         Fiona Cousins covers the ethical question in the 2016 Annual Lecture

Here again, there are both practical and ethical reasons why we simply must do better. STEM subjects are naturally areas from which engineers are likely to emerge, but the profession must also cope with the lure of high-wage City firms picking off the cream of the talent, whilst engineering is all too often seen as a dull alternative without the same potential for excitement and reward. This again is another area where engineers need a bigger voice – we make the modern world work, and the answer to some of the world’s most pressing problems from overcrowding to climate change lie firmly within our remit.

We can inspire future generations to take on these challenges in our industry - the best equipped to deal with them – but it requires influential voices to make the case for engineering as a world-changing job with real solutions to make a better future. And this cause isn’t helped when we fail to appeal to more than half of the population, but inspiration is a great start. National Women in Engineering Day run by the Women’s Engineering Society is a brilliant effort that is held this year on 23 June, and brings together hundreds of national initiatives from events in schools to national media work.

We’re helping out this year with our survey on inspiring women engineers, but we all need to do more. This is another area in which our leadership can play a big part in showing young women and girls what is possible through an engineering career, whether that’s through higher education or apprenticeships, and dispelling the myths around the industry that it’s ‘just for boys’. As with a lot of what we do, true leadership will only be achieved when we make change because it is right, not just because it is necessary.

Only 6% of Chartered Engineers are women


Wednesday, 11 May 2016

A new perspective

In the first of his monthly blogs, CIBSE President John Field will introduce the primary theme of his Presidency. John will write a blog every month on a variety of topics; encompassing news, views and opinion, that will lend an insight into life at the top of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers.


Last week I was given the tremendous honour of being inducted as President of CIBSE by past-President Nick Mead, whose thoughts you have been reading on this blog for the past year. Those who were in the audience at our AGM at the Royal Society will have heard me use my inaugural speech to draw attention to a few issues that are of importance to me, and will be addressed during my term in office (and if you didn’t, a video of it is above!).

In my first blog, I would like to draw further attention one particular issue in action, and what I plan to do to address it.

You’ll likely be familiar with the ongoing discussion over what is to be done about the Palace of Westminster, the world famous home of the UK’s Houses of Parliament, which is currently sinking into the ground – and that’s not the worst of its problems. Having put off decisions to operate on the building’s many faults over the last decade due to the political un-palatability of spending billions on Government buildings, problems have been allowed to mount including; a rats nest of outdated wiring, damp, asbestos, leaky pipes and failing stonework.

The Palace of Westminster is slowly falling apart
As part of the Government’s approach to carrying out the restoration, the Joint Committee on the Palace of Westminster heard evidence from professional bodies including my predecessor Nick Mead as President of CIBSE, who did a terrific job of pressing the benefits of a partial or total decant of MPs to allow for a shorter and cheaper refit.

Rather than working on an active building with the problems this entails; health and safety around live wires, whole sections without power and water for days, and the extra time required to ensure work does not endanger vital systems, MPs should be moved elsewhere on the estate during works to save as much as 20 years and £3bn.

It is clear that moving as many MPs from Parliament during the works is preferable, safer, cheaper, easier and faster, and yet there are still reports in the press that suggest the Government will argue for an extended 32 year rolling programme of maintenance with very high cost – because such disruption spreads the cost and won’t leave as big an annual hole in the balance sheet. A £5.7bn cost over 32 years of hell (with MPs still working in Westminster) to do a mediocre job is politically acceptable; £3.5bn for a relatively fast and much more effective job (with MPs decanted) is not acceptable.

Past-President Nick Mead gives evidence in Parliament
A stellar cast of industry-leading bodies assembled in Westminster that day to give evidence to the committee; including CIBSE, RIBA, RICS and ICE – evidence that it appears that the Government is doing its best to ignore. This brings me to the main point behind my inaugural speech: CIBSE has an unrivalled set of expertise on building services, and we should be the voice of the industry that kicks up a fuss!

Building services should be seen as something that is at the heart of modern-day life – up there with healthcare, the legal professions and banking. People spend 94% of their life inside buildings and transport – they live, work, eat and sleep in them. They keep people alive, healthy and safe, and they also hold the key to solving one of the great issues of our time in climate change.

Buildings are behind nearly half of the UK’s CO2 emissions, and up to 70% of the electricity we generate is used by them – often from less than clean sources. We as an industry have done some incredible things with buildings since 1899 when the Institution of Heating & Ventilating Engineers first met, but a lot of our work is done behind closed doors and is never even noticed by the vast majority of people when it is done right.

The Ideal Home solar house that John helped design and commission. Ground-breaking in 1981!
What I will aim to do during my Presidency is carry forward that aim of raising the industry’s profile, which will include kicking up a fuss if needs be when we see something that isn’t right from a building performance standpoint – whether that’s in the industry, in the media or even in political circles. The incredible initiatives and achievements we carry out every day are vital to the present and future of the world and are inspiring, but we can only spread that inspiration to students, politicians, other professions and the public at large if we find our voice, and share it with the world.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

New year, new start

Firstly a Happy New Year to you all and trust you had a good Christmas.

Well it’s all been very busy couple of months! With a bit of a lull over the Christmas period, I’ve finally been able to collect my thoughts into the blog. The 3rd and 4th of November saw the CIBSE Building Performance Conference and Exhibition at the QE2 centre in London, and extra special for me to be attending as President.

This year’s Conference was again an unqualified success, with 48% more attendees, double the number of exhibitors and a bigger splash on social media than last year. This was unsurprising given the quality of the presentations and debates that we saw during the two days, including some cutting edge knowledge on security and unique collaboration with disciplines outside engineering on comfort and energy efficiency.

Next was the SoPHE dinner in Kensington on the Thursday which was as always a great night, and quickly followed by the SoPHE Awards, which demonstrated inspiring practical uses of engineering principles. This year’s winner of the SoPHE Young Engineer’s Award, which involved using the Moringa tree to provide clean water and jobs in Liberia, was a perfect demonstration of how a career path in engineering can have a world-changing impact.

The SoPHE award winners collect their certificates
I was in Bristol next for the Society of Public Architecture, Construction, Engineering and Surveying (SPACES) dinner.  We have started an alliance with this group and the Patrons to enable knowledge sharing, CPD attendance and general collaboration with the Public Sector – something that is sorely needed if we are to spread the message of collaboration to its widest.

Tuesday 10th was Lunch at IMechE with Presidents from IMechE, SoE, IChemE and IMEST to discuss more collaboration with the Institutions and education. The aim being to try and get engineering and science back into the curriculum in schools, which is crucial to the aim of setting up the next generation of STEM workers.

Wednesday was the IETs presidential address. Held at the Mermaid centre in London. IETs president Naomi Climer introduced a captivating address entitled Bright Future with scattered cloud. Using her experience from Television and Media she addressed the future of technology in our industry – this was especially timely, given the focus on technology on the first day of the Conference, and helped put into perspective what we had learned about the opportunities and risks from our speakers.

48% more attendees queue for the start of Conference
Friday 13th may not be the most auspicious of days, but it also meant a BSRIA briefing that brings many in the industry together, and was an excellent opportunity to reflect on another year of change in Building Services.

I also had the opportunity to see the work of some fascinating guest speakers over the last two months. The IMechE Presidential event was a great evening with an interesting view on design technology from Jaguar/Land Rover chief designer. While on the 2nd of December I attended the iTree Eco project report – Valuing London’s Urban Forest - issued at the House of Lords.

I didn’t quite know what to expect but a fascinating insight into the trees in London and the overwhelming importance they play in maintaining the environment. We are all aware of how trees balance nature with human intrusion but this report is fascinating and the depth of the study is very intense, worth a look if you get a chance

Giving the Presidential address at CIBSE Conference and Exhibition
The 4th December saw an early flight to Dublin with one of the most enjoyable events of the year. At nearly 500 guests, the Ireland region always makes everyone very welcome with a great lunch, good hospitality and, this year, excellent entertainment! Speaking of great lunches, Past Presidents Lunches are always good to meet up old colleagues from industry and the Institution. I was looking forward to attending the latest meeting on the 10th, and was not disappointed by the “debate” on the challenges of the industry and CIBSE, which was held in good humour.

On the Imtech front, well, all is well there with them seeing new projects coming through the door. Unfortunately, I will not be there to help, as I left the business at Christmas to seek new opportunities in my career. I wish them all the best for 2016 and look forward to catching up with them at the awards dinner in February where they are headline sponsors.


Again, I hope you all had a Happy Christmas and have a prosperous New Year

Monday, 9 November 2015

The busy season

Hi, well October is now over and we are getting very close to Christmas and the festivities! October has been a great month with so much happening.

The 8th October started with a lunch at IMechE with the president Professor Richard Folkson, the ASHRAE President David Underwood, the chief executives and myself. Discussions focused very much around collaboration and a unified voice to government, better collaboration in Universities and education of engineering and science in the schools.

The evening saw the Employer of the Year award and the Graduate of the Year award. Congratulations go to SDS who not only won the mid size company award but the overall award. The entries were outstanding as usual but SDS showed great commitment to their programme and staff.

The YEN awards were excellent with it being the 20th Anniversary award and we had the pleasure of Kevin Mitrchell of Buro Haoppold who joined us from Dubai who was the first winner. Other previous winners attended to celebrate the award to Ryan Rodrigues who will attend the ASHRAE winter conference in Orlando. Runners up also received a cheque from the Rumford club.

Presenting the Employer of the Year prize to SDS at the Young Engineers Awards

The 9th saw a full day with a Presidents breakfast. CIBSE/ASHRAE liaison meeting Council and the Presidents Dinner, all held at the Institute of General Practioners in Euston Square. CIBSE/ASHRAE relations go from strength to strength thanks from amazing hard work by Tim Dwyer , the new Council meeting format with the President Elect being the board liaision are working well and the close of the day with the President dinner was excellent. 

At the dinner, I present individual awards to members who have done outstanding work for the Institution. Different from so many awards in our industry, I feel this are more personal being for individuals who go beyond the norm to support CIBSE.

This years awards were:


  •  Hays Building Services President’s prize: Kaitlin Allen from Nottingham University


The CIBSE Undergraduate Award sponsored by Hays Building Services has been in existence for over 20 years. It is designed to encourage students to develop their potential and aim for excellence.  It is awarded to students in their final year of a building services course accredited by CIBSE recognising their academic achievements at the end of their course of study. 

Kaitlin studied for a MEng in Architectural and Environmental Design at the University of Nottingham and won with her final year project entitled ‘Smart windows – A window for dynamic control.’ 

In addition we also present a trophy to a representative of the university as acknowledgement of its achievement.  Dr Yupeng Wu is here to receive the trophy.


  •  The Happold Brilliant Award Royal School of Military Engineering (RSME)


This is an annual award to recognise excellence in the teaching of building services engineering. The trophy was received by Lieutenant Colonel Steve Lumley on behalf of the University.


  • Ken Dale Travel Bursary Luke Ramsay


Luke Ramsey
The Ken Dale Travel Bursary, now in its seventh year, is made possible by the kind donation of the family of the late Ken Dale, a past President of the Institution of Heating and Ventilating and an Honorary Fellow of CIBSE.  The Bursary makes awards available to CIBSE members at the development stage of their career who wish to spend three to four weeks outside their own country researching aspects connected to their field of work and which will benefit CIBSE, their employer, their clients and the profession of building services engineering.  



Luke Ramsay from Julie’s Bicycle investigated ‘Low carbon cooling in data-centres: barriers and opportunities’ by visiting these various data centres, this helped Luke to begin to understand how data centres can reduce their carbon footprint.
Luke visited various locations across North America, including Canada, Dubai, Jakarta and Singapore. 

  • Technical Awards 


The Institution will be making two awards for technical papers published in the Building Services Engineering Research & Technology.

The awards this year are:  

  • The Napier Shaw Bronze Medal 


Awarded for the most highly rated paper published in BSER&T in the year relating to research. "Building tight – ventilating right? How are new air tightness standards affecting indoor air quality in dwellings?” Authors - Stirling Howieson, Tim Sharpe and Paul Farren 

  • The Carter Bronze Medal 


Awarded for the most highly rated paper published in BSER&T in the year relating to application and development. ‘ A review on predicted mean vote and adaptive thermal comfort models’ Authors – Yau Yat Huang and Chew Bee Teng 

  • CIBSE Medals 


Silver Medal presented to Christopher Northey citation being read by Steve Vaughan 

Silver Medal presented to Kevin Kelly citation being read by David Doherty

Silver Medal is presented to John Anderson the citation being read by Gerard Hosford

On the 15th I attended the B&ES Indoor air quality meeting which I will be separately blogging on, so any comments would be appreciated.

Saturday 24th October was the YEN Annual Ball in Birmingham. The Council House Banqueting Suite supplied a fantastic backdrop for the Gatsby themed evening which saw around 150 guests, many of who were dressed accordingly. 

The raffle for the evening raised £1000 which was for the Acorns Children Hospice which offers respite for parents of sick and disabled children. A video of Josh’s story was shown depicting the great works of this charity.

Unfortunately the day job prevented me getting to the Patrons meeting in Leeds. Held with the support of the Yorkshire region, the meeting was at Leeds Beckett University. Along with a tour of the university, there was a very electrical theme with Apollo lighting, DALI Schneider and SLL.
The Imtech world is still very busy and I look forward to seeing a tender with a realistic budget! 

Until next month





Friday, 16 October 2015

Life behind the scenes

Well, it appears the summer vacations are now truly over, we are in the run up to Christmas (just over 12 weeks) and life continues at 100mph.

It has been a great month at CIBSE with all the in house meetings and public events. In the background, HQ is on the go with meetings covering such a wide and diverse range of issues that we seldom give them credit for. Knowledge, finance, technical, membership etc. etc. are constantly being delivered, reviewed, and updated to ensure the intricate clock keeps ticking. As a president, we only tend to cover the perimeter of many of the ongoing issues but the bits I have been involved in have been fascinating and surprising.

Where do we go with CEnv? Should Universities cover Heritage issues on their courses? Where do we stand on apprentices? Where do we tie into other Professional Bodies? The list goes on over several hundred e-mails. All demanding an answer and needing to be prioritised to ensure nothing critical falls by the side. 

CIBSE HQ: A hive of activity

Then there are the formal bits. The B&ES president’s lunch was interesting, particularly as it is the contracting companies that are members and the lunch provided an insight into their viewpoint of the industry and the constraints and the difficulties in tendering in the current market. The industry is suffering from many projects that are, in the current market, not affordable to the client, and so “Value Engineering” (sometimes called Vandal Engineering) becomes a major driver. This is not only causing huge cost to the contractor and the original consultant but pushing programmes to very difficult limits. Something that needs to be addressed for the future.

I had a great lunch with the Society Chairs and Presidents as well this month. All the Societies (SLL, SoPHE, SFE and ILEVE) are all very focused and keen to offer a varied and interesting agenda for the coming year. October 1st saw the very successful and popular SLL “Night of Heritage light which illuminated nine UNESCO world heritage sites across the UK. (See www.nohl-sll.org).

This month also saw the inauguration of the new RIBA president, Jane Duncan, who took over from Stephen Hodder. This was celebrated at the Presidents Fundraising dinner on the 16th in Portland Place.

Guide D was launched at a well-attended function in Northampton. Being a services engineer by background, I was interested to see so many issues now included in the Guide relevant to M&E services, well worth a look. I was also honoured to present an Honorary Fellowship to Peter Day for all his outstanding work on the Guide over the years and other much valued support to the Institution.
On the matter of support to CIBSE, it was also an honour to see Peter Caplehorn being presented as Honorary Member to CIAT at their lunch at the Savoy.

Setting up at Blaenavon ahead of the Night of Heritage Light, ©James Jones
Peter is not only a long-standing personal friend and colleague but has been a great supporter of CIBSE, especially in his new role as Policy Director for The Construction Products Association. He has also been involved in many industry and government programmes, particularly on the technical and health and safety side of the industry.  Peter is the deputy chair of the Building Regulations Advisory Committee (BRAC) and currently chairs the British Standards Institution’s strategic committee for construction.  His main focus recently has been the new CDM Regulations, application of Building Information Modelling (“BIM”) within construction regulations and future building regulations. Great to see Architecture and Services coming together. 

With regards to the day job, well that has settled down now and business is as usual carrying out a lot of VE on tenders, and looking at day to day issues on projects. We held one of our engineering forums this month and one topic was fuel cells. This is a surprising market that seems to be quietly progressing behind the scenes. Imtech are currently collaborating with CIBSE on a Micro CHP validation testing proposal with the University of St Andrews. Watch this space


Well that’s all folks and have a good October